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Poem of Praise


What do you admire? Is there an activity you savor doing? Do you know of a place that relaxes and calms your inner turbulence? Has a friend or family member done something that brought you great happiness?

When you find something praiseworthy and write about it, your praise poem may engender a sense of worthiness and admiration in the reader. By capturing the flavor of something, you cultivate adimration and gratitude.

As in your poem on Joy, a poem in praise of something you admire can be healing and enobling.

Image of Dog

In many of these poems in praise of dogs, bereaved owners express their grief over the loss of a beloved pet.

Exercise: Write a poem of praise of a common object.

Auden's "In Praise of Limestone" is spoken in an infomal tone; the conversational structure creates a dialogue between speaker and reader.

Exercise: write a poem of praise in which you create a casual tone, a dialogue between you and your reader.

In praising a person, you might compose a sincere tribute to him, enumerating his best qualities, and showing, perhaps, how that person has affected you and the people around you. Here again is Auden, writing "In Memory of W. B. Yeats," wherein the earth "receives an honoured guest."

Exercise: write an elegy to someone whom you held in great regard.

"My daffodils dance their praise to our Creator?" Karen L. Oberst's poem is composed in the Celtic style covering the four seasons.

Exercise: write a praise poem in the Celtic tradition in praise of the four seasons.

Opening with "When I was young and had no sense," George Orwell's "Ironic Poem about Prostitution" makes a Burmese girl's virgin voice lisp with irony.

Exercise: write an ironic poem of praise to someone or something in which you denigrate it.

Alternative Exercise: write a poem in praise of something unsavory wherein you glorify and celebrate its qualities, or conversely, write a poem to something admirable in which you denigrate it.

Please write a poem "In Praise of ______" in fifteen lines or fewer, and submit it for consideration on the APW Forum/Guests' Pages. Email subject line: Praise Poem.


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